Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

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microphone-stringtet-music-milwaukee
Bonnie North

The distinctive sound of The Jason Seed Stringtet is two parts classical, one part jazz, and more than a little bit rock and roll. Seed, who is both the ensemble's guitarist as well as its composer, has married the timbres of electric guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, and double bass in both original tunes and covers since 2008.

B-free-milwaukee-music
Rob Randolph

Britney Freeman-Farr and Quinten Farr first met as teenagers at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, playing together in the jazz lab. A marriage, vocal cord surgery and a few albums later, the two are still together.

Britney, known by her stage name B~Free, boasts a soulful sound and a creative vision. The musical couple continues to push each other to achieve their goals while maintaining balance between support and criticism.

Sarah Davachi's electro-acoustic compositions seek the corners of quiet with a studious and patient curiosity. Gave in Rest, her second album of 2018, takes its inspiration from early church music, in particular "the quietude, the air of reverence, the openness of the physical space, the stillness of the altars," she writes in a press release. From "Matins" (morning prayers) to "Evensong" (evening prayers), the L.A.-based composer fills the day with moments of peace.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

I've been a fan of Kevin Wilson's writing since 2011, when I read his debut novel The Family Fang. That novel delved into the life of a husband and wife pair of performance artists who worked their young children into their pieces. Without being pat about it, Wilson drove home the realization that every family constitutes its own rag-tag troupe of performance artists and that children are mostly at the mercy of their parents' "acts."

When Liz Cooper got her first guitar, it didn't help her social life. A high schooler who'd spent her early years as an athlete, Cooper fell in love with the instrument and spent hours in her room teaching herself to play in the intricate, looping fashion she still uses today. Cooper has gained a growing following in Nashville and beyond as one of the rock scene's most distinctive guitarists, with a style few can imitate.

Some Vermont dairy workers say their wages and living conditions have improved, thanks to an agreement reached last year between the workers and Ben & Jerry's, a division of global consumer products company Unilever.

Times are tough on dairy farms around the country, with milk prices declining for the fourth year in a row. But 72 farms that supply Ben & Jerry's earn a little more by agreeing to follow labor and housing standards.

When Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard was in his 20s, his songs chronicled the awkward strivings of youth: finding yourself, falling in love, learning to navigate physical and emotional distances in relationships.

When the 10 members of Tower of Power were in place behind Bob Boilen's desk, strategically positioned around the band's famous five-piece horn section, their first collective blast three beats into the sound check literally made the video crew jump. It was more a force of nature than a sound, and an impressive display of the "five fingers operating as one hand" concept of band cohesiveness.

When film critic Roger Ebert left the Cannes Film Festival premiere of Do the Right Thing in 1989, he had tears in his eyes. Few film-going experiences, he reflected in a 2001 essay, rivaled that first viewing of the Spike Lee classic.

Food Fare At Iowa State Fair

Aug 12, 2018

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LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:

We're going to revisit a story from NPR's American Anthem series, exploring songs that tap into the collective emotions that listeners and performers have around an issue or belief.

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